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When We Have Selflessness This Happens...

Being a Servant Leader is now a buzzword. People hear it and roll their eyes. We have been told the good guy finishes last.  But what leader do you want to follow, the selfish one or the selfless one? A servant leader is not a pushover who just does whatever makes people happy. The servant leader does what is best for his or her people.  They are servants because they put the needs of others before their own needs. They exercise Selflessness.

We see that selfless Leaders:

  • Seek to serve rather than be served.

  • Add value to others by coaching and developing them.

  • Listen longer and focus harder on others.

  • Expect nothing in return.

Being a selfless leader doesn’t mean you are weak and only do what others want you to do for them. Sometimes being selfless means I am going to have a tough conversation with a person or make a tough decision even if it makes me uncomfortable or they may not like it.

I have that conversation because I am doing it for their benefit—to make them better.  If I don’t have that conversation when I know it could make that person better, then I am being selfish and thinking of my own comfort.

Success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others not on passion, hard work and talent alone. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, but givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return. 

Author, Adam Grant’s research found it is the givers who help others win who achieve the greatest success.  They win because they help others win!

When people see us as selfish they question our motives. They wonder whether we are trying to get ahead at their expense. They ask, “Do we care about them or are they just a tool we use to hit our goals?” In that environment - trust is lost.

Impact on the culture of a team or family?

  • Only looking out for ourselves. No one wins. 

  • Keeping score. You owe me. 

  • Everyone is a taker. 

On the other hand, if they know our previous choices have always been selfless and focused on the needs of others, they trust us. We can say some pretty tough things to them and based on what they’ve seen in our past, they will not question our motives. They will see that our desire is to help them get better and not just to help ourselves.

Dig Deep Questions:

  • Who do you want to follow? A giver, a matcher or a taker?

  • What would people call you? Giver, matcher or taker? 


Considering givers, matchers, takers and how to exercise Selflessness is just the beginning of the training we have crafted for you and your team. We would love to come alongside you and help to sharpen your team in a platform which best meets the needs of your organization. Click here for more details.

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